BPDA Board approves 66 Cambridge project

By Michael Coughlin Jr. 

During its meeting last week, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board approved a project at 60-66 Cambridge Street, which would bring more than 800,000 square feet of life science, office, research, and development space to the site. 

This project, which would activate a site that has previously been home to Boston Public Schools (BPS) buses, has been proposed by 60 Cambridge Development LLC, which involves a partnership between the Fallon Company and the Owens Companies. 

“This is an emerging development corridor in Charlestown, and this site… has the opportunity to connect Hood Park to Sullivan Square Station and facilitating a connection to the Lost Village,” said Danny Guadagnoli of the Fallon Company. 

“So it really sits in an important location. Something that we were excited about when we looked at this project,” he added. 

According to Sarah Peck of the BPDA, who provided an overview of the project during last week’s meeting, two new buildings would be constructed with 10,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space, with the rest slated for life science, office, research, and development. 

Moreover, a document found on the project’s webpage on the BPDA’s website indicates that one building is slated to be about 222 feet tall and the other about 252 feet tall, “subject to further design review and the terms of the Development Plan.” 

Additionally, Peck indicated that the proposal would also include up to 487 off-street parking spots and around 41,000 square feet of open space. 

Following Peck’s overview, the project team made its own presentation about the project. 

In speaking about the project, Guadagnoli called the open space portion of the project the “key piece” in creating the aforementioned connection that he talked about. 

He also spoke about other improvements being made to the site and surrounding area, such as improving D Street and raising the site’s grade by five feet to promote flood resiliency. 

As the presentation progressed, Joseph Mamayek of SGA, the project architect, outlined the design in greater detail. 

He specifically discussed several key design elements, such as creating connections, greening the site, providing an active and diverse ground floor, and much more. 

Furthermore, Mamayek showed different elevations and views and walked through several other facets of the project, such as sustainability, an accessible and active public realm that is welcoming, and much more. 

Some other aspects of the project that are highlighted in the aforementioned project webpage document include a shared-use path, safety improvements near the Cambridge Street and I-93 ramp intersection, the construction of blue bike stations, and more. 

It should also be noted that a news release on the BPDA’s website indicates that the project team will also be making contributions to the Charlestown Link Shuttle and the city’s Transportation Department. 

Following the presentation, those in attendance provided public testimony, and there seemed to be widespread support for the proposal. 

Steve Jenal, a Charlestown resident, voiced his support, saying, “The Owens Companies and Fallon have been great about the community outreach with this project. The greening of the site is something we really need for our neighborhood and connecting Hood Park to Sullivan Station can only be seen as a positive.” 

Several other attendees, including residents, union representatives, and even Korynn Stoyanoff, a representative from Just a Start, supported the proposal along with Jenal. 

Just a Start is a Cambridge-based non-profit that will have its Biomedical Careers Training program at the site, a feature of the project that Guadagnoli revealed during a public meeting in January. 

Before the project went to a vote, the Board’s Chair, Priscilla Rojas, shared her excitement for the Biomedical Career Training, saying, “It’s awesome.” In the end, the BPDA Board unanimously approved the proposal. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.